SCUF Gaming controllers are typically designed to cater for the FPS market. Anyone who competes in an EGL event for Call of Duty will own one of these highly-customizable controllers, and there are plenty of accounts that demonstrate the benefits of the controller. Unlike many other accessories in the market that claim to enhance gamers’ performances in the eSports domain (these include other controllers, supplements and even special glasses!), SCUF controllers have become the go-to accessories for FPS eSports gaming on consoles. Despite even Sony having licensed other controllers, they just don’t quite match up to the expectations of the SCUF controllers. However, until today, we have only ever paired SCUF’s controllers with shooters. SCUF hasn’t yet managed to penetrate other markets where eSports gaming on consoles is also becoming huge. In this review of the SCUF Impact Turf, we specifically look at the controller’s advantages (and disadvantages) when competing at the highest levels on FIFA 18 and 19 (at the time of writing this review, the SCUF Impact Turf was thoroughly tested on the FIFA 19 demo).
The SCUF Impact (PS4) is one of the most sophisticated controllers currently on offer for the PS4. This will soon be overtaken by the SCUF Vantage, which completely revolutionizes the way PS4 controllers can be modified. The SCUF Impact Turf will cost you just over £100 – whilst many will claim that this is a huge amount of investment for what is essentially a PS4 controller, some of the features and customizability of the pad makes this a worthwhile purchase, especially if you enjoy shooters as well as FIFA.
Firstly, unlike the Infinity 4PS Pro, the SCUF Impact contains four paddles in the back. Each one of the paddles can be mapped to a particular face button of the controller, which also includes L3 and R3. Unfortunately, neither paddle can currently be mapped to L1 or R1. We will dive into the impact of this limitation later. These paddles are designed to vastly improve your reaction speeds whenever you want to press one of the face buttons. Whilst the improvement in reaction speeds might only be a fraction of a second, this is extremely beneficial in FPS titles where that slightly improved reaction speed becomes the difference between winning a gunfight and losing one. With the SCUF Impact Turf, you can also remove the paddles that you don’t want if you feel that they will get in the way of pressing other options. For FIFA, it may even be better to remove them altogether in case you press a paddle by mistake.
There is also an excellent cable locking mechanic for the charger. Unlike traditional controllers, the SCUF Impact Turf contains a small housing mechanism that allows your charging cable to be better locked into the port. This works best if you use the charging cable that SCUF can provide (which is also braided and almost never gets tangled). The L2 and R2 triggers also have a stopping mechanism that can be adjusted. Again, this is only useful for shooting games where a trigger stop mechanic that doesn’t require you to press R2 all the way down means that you can burst fire weapons at a much faster rate.
I didn’t much of the above very useful for playing either FIFA 18 or FIFA 19. Whilst the better charging port is always helpful, I never really found this to be a big problem even with a traditional PS4 controller. If anything, it protects the cable more than the controller.
The game-changing advantage that you have using a SCUF Impact controller is the ability to change the two thumbsticks. Whilst originally this was designed to allow FPS gamers the freedom to have different length and shaped (concave or domed) sticks, the biggest problem I have found with traditional PS4 controllers is that the thumbsticks wear out extremely quickly. FIFA rage is a very real issue and FIFA ‘sweat’ is also a real thing. As someone who regularly plays FUT (over 1000 games on FIFA 18), those thumbsticks never last. It is impossible to play the game without the thumbstick rubber-coating.
The SCUF Impact Turf’s biggest attraction is the ability for you to very easily swap out and replace the thumbsticks with other ones that you can very cheaply purchase on the SCUF website. This ensures that you can go through seasons of gaming on FIFA without ever having to worry about replacing your controller. Sure, you can open up your traditional PS4 controller and change the thumbsticks that way, however this comes at a cost of voiding your warranty. With the SCUF Impact Turf, the controller comes with a locking key which is proprietary to SCUF. This allows you to replace the sticks within a minute, and without any fear of damaging the pad.
For FIFA 18, I actually used a different SCUF Impact controller (the features are exactly the same as the Impact Turf, it just has a different skin) – and I went through six pairs of thumbsticks. The SCUF sticks are very durable, so this really is testament to the impact that FUT Champions can have on them. The controller never failed me. The cost of the SCUF Impact and a set of thumbsticks is considerably cheaper than buying multiple traditional controllers that have no real use once you wear out the sticks.
FIFA 19 will also suffer from the FIFA rage and ‘sweat’ that FIFA 18 became so famous for. FUT Champions is where gamers really compete at the highest and most dedicated levels every single weekend. Assuming that FIFA 19 will also require gamers to play a maximum of 40 games every weekend, those thumbsticks will not last on a traditional controller. It makes perfect sense to invest in the SCUF Impact if you’re going to be one of those gamers.
Considering the SCUF Impact Turf’s skin is designed to appeal to football gamers, I would have liked to see the controller bundled with a charging cable and a set of thumbsticks. After all, these two are the most appealing features of the controller that would be great for FIFA 18/19, and having a specific bundle for the football gamers would be great. As things stand, you’ll have to purchase them separately, although there is nothing stopping SCUF from changing this in the near future as FIFA 19 approaches.
There is also a lot of talk on social media about gameplay changes in FIFA 19 paving the way for more gamers to use SCUF controllers to gain an advantage. In particular, EA has changed some of the control mechanics and made performing specific actions more tricky. As an example, a low driven shot is performed by holding L1+R1. This combination is also used for many other actions, including manual passes; an incredibly effective and important option. Considering us FIFA gamers have become so accustomed to the old way of performing low driven shots (and with the introduction of manual passing), the combination of L1+R1 for many important actions is a huge change in gameplay. However, pressing L1+R1 whilst aiming your shot or pass is not the most comfortable action. After over 20 hours of gameplay on the FIFA 19 demo using the SCUF Impact Turf, it became very clear that L1+R1+aiming with L3 is not the most comfortable action to carry out.
Many gamers believe that SCUF controllers will be able to let players more easily carry out such actions by remapping L1+R1 to the paddles. This however, is not true. The SCUF Impact does not allow you to remap L1+R1 to the paddles. Since the Impact was not primarily designed with football (and FIFA 19 in particular) in mind, this is forgivable. However, SCUF has confirmed that the forthcoming SCUF Vantage – an officially licensed customizable controller for PS4, will definitely allow you to map L1 and R1 bumpers to the paddles. Currently there is no release date for when the SCUF Vantage will launch in Europe. Pressing two paddles and aiming with L3 will be a lot easier than pressing L1+R1 with your fingers.
I am sure that a lot of FIFA gamers loathe the idea of a custom controller giving some players an edge. These are probably the same groups of gamers who look down on FPS players. However, this is the direction that eSports is moving towards and FIFA needs to catch up. The advantage you’ll get from using a custom controller is miniscule in comparison to the advantage people get from spending hundreds (or sometimes thousands) of pounds/euros/dollars on their Ultimate Teams every year.
Despite the fact that the features introduced in the Vantage sound like they are more beneficial to a FIFA eSports gamer than the features that exist in the Impact Turf, this does not mean that the SCUF Impact Turf is not a worthwhile investment for the time being. As mentioned before, there is no launch date for the Vantage in Europe, and if it takes half a year to release, then you may have already gone through enough controllers between the launch of FIFA 19 and then. The interchangeable thumbsticks alone justifies the investment in the SCUF Impact (or even the Infinity 4PS, which also contains changeable thumbsticks but only two paddles). There is nothing unique with the Impact Turf that makes it FIFA-compatible, so you can really choose any SCUF controller with interchangeable sticks to gain the maximum benefit. If you’re looking to purchase a SCUF pad to give yourself an added advantage in FIFA, then the current controllers on offer in Europe will not do the trick. Purchase one of these to save yourself the hassle of buying new controllers due to worn out sticks. If however, you cannot afford the SCUF Impact and the Vantage when that comes out, I’d hold off until the Vantage becomes available to the European market.